THE DIARIES OF SIR ROBERT BRUCE LOCKHART, 1915-1938 by Robert Bruce Lockhart


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Lockhart was an alleged British spy, a Beaverbrook attache writing articles to order and snooping around Central Europe, and a viveur vecu who nevertheless produced fifteen books after his memoir of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Despite these arresting credentials, it is hard to believe that even the least discriminating consumer of diaries won't fall asleep with a bad aftertaste. Lockhart, who constantly keeps in touch with banking and intelligence circles as well as Nicolson and Churchill and the ex-Kaiser's grandson, lunches with some generals: ""McDonogh was rather nice. We discussed General Haig."" Racy revelations: Arnold Bennett liked pornography and Venetia Montagu was caught cheating at bezique. Unlike most upper-class Britons, Lockhart remained a Nazi sympathizer even after Munich -- he wanted to make a tour, for example, urging Anglo-American friendship with Germany and Italy. There are dabs of unconscious comic relief here, as when a certain Edward Majoribanks kills himself: ""I do not think Edward had it in him to become Prime Minister. He lacked balance. . . ."" Mainly, Lockhart's incessant dinings- and passings-out convey an Evelyn Waugh atmosphere as written, not by Waugh, but by one of his most infantile, self-centered characters.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1974
Publisher: St. Martin's Press